Expert picks provided by: Jarod Kieler
Follow on Twitter: @Jkieler1010
This week, the PGA Tour makes its way down the road from Fort Worth to Irving, Texas and the Byron Nelson Championship. The Byron Nelson Championship has raised over $137 million since its inception and is the leading fundraiser for charity on the PGA Tour. From 1994 to 2007, the tournament was held on multiple courses at the Four Seasons Resort. However, after undergoing major renovations, the Tournament Players Course (TPC) has hosted this event alone since 2008. Jordan Spieth, the hometown superstar, headlines a field that includes eight of the top-25 players on the PGA Tour. Last year, Brendon Todd picked up his first PGA Tour victory by shooting 14 under par and besting Mike Weir by two strokes.
My picks for this week:
1) Jason Day (2) – Day has struggled since losing the lead late on Sunday at the Zurich Classic. However, there is no better place for Day to break out of his mini-slump. The 2009 Byron Nelson champion has a total of three top-10’s in four career appearances at TPC Four Seasons.
2) Dustin Johnson (1) – Johnson has top-10 finishes in three of his five career trips to the Byron Nelson Championship. After a two year hiatus, Johnson shared 7th last year. DJ comes to TPC Four Seasons looking to rebound after a 69th place finish at the PLAYERS.
1) Marc Leishman (2) – Leishman is definitely a horse for the course this week. In six career trips, Leishman has five top-12 finishes. Last year, Leishman tied for 3rd, his second career third place finish at TPC Four Seasons. After returning from a leave of absence, Leishman has not finished outside the top-30.
2) George McNeil (1) – McNeil continues to make cuts and flirt with the top of the leaderboard. McNeil has four top-20 finishes in his last seven events. G-Mac tied for 5th last week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
1) Justin Thomas (3) – Thomas continues to have an exceptional rookie season. In his past four events, Thomas has four top-25 finishes, including three top-15’s. In his most recent start, Thomas tied for 7th at the Wells Fargo Championship.
2) Gary Woodland (2) – Woodland has been up and down as of late, but he does have two top-5 finishes in his past three starts. Woodland lost to Rory McIlroy in the Match Play championship and then tied for 4th two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Championship. Woodland shared 7th at the Byron Nelson Championship last year.
Other Golfers Considered:
Jordan Spieth (Tier A): Spieth is my number one pick for this week, but I can only use him three more times the rest of the year. Last week, Spieth tied for 2nd at the Crown Plaza Invitational. Spieth’s best finish at the Byron Nelson came as a 16 year old when he shared 16th.
Jerry Kelly (Tier B): Kelly continues to play some exceptional golf. Unfortunately, the 48 year old just cannot close the deal on Sundays. In his last four events, Kelly has not finished outside the top-22. His best finish at Byron Nelson was a tie for 3rd in 2007.
Morgan Hoffman (Tier C): TPC Four Seasons seems to fit Hoffman’s game. After tying for 5th in 2013, Hoffman shared 16th last year. Hoffman has made the weekend in five of his past six starts, including a fourth place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.